North American Auction Company
Live Auction

Fine Montana Collector Sale - April 2023

Sat, Apr 22, 2023 11:00AM EDT
Lot 202

I&H Sorby American Presentation Grade Dag Knife

Estimate: $10,000 - $15,000

Bid Increments

Price Bid Increment
$50 $10
$100 $25
$500 $50
$1,000 $100
$2,000 $250
$5,000 $500
$10,000 $1,000
$50,000 $2,500

The lot features a fantastic I&H Sorby touchmarked presentation grade dag knife with amazing bone handle having silverwork accents from the Native American Indians. The piece shows a classic "Beaver Back" or "Beaver Tail" (beavertail) dag knife shape with large paddle like forged blade and fancy handle. The handle shows a two piece carved grip scale pattern in large solid bone, likely from a Great American Bison Buffalo, showing a circle guard front, diamond like tapering gripping area and circle pommel end. Each side shows eight silver tacked silver worked pieces, attributed by previous collectors as being silver watch pieces (total of 16 silver ridger, silver spur rowel or gear like accents). The blade shows a forged iron wide blade with sharpened edge showing several nicks, and a median forged ridge running down the middle of both sides of the blade. The piece is marked I&H SORBY (I & H SORBY) stamped into the metal. The blade has a dark patina at the guard connection with the blade being cleaned, a common occurrence with old collectors. High Grade or Presentation Grade dag knives were said to be owned almost exclusively by Chief's, noted warriors or elders. Provenance: The piece was documented / photographed on page 72 of "Rare American Indian Weapons: Tomahawks, War Clubs and Knives" by Mark Francis. The piece is from a private Wisconsin collection. The piece is well kept in good condition for its age. The blade is touch-marked I & H SORBY one one side. Sorby was the hallmark of John Sorby & Sons which was acquired by Lockwood Brothers Sheffield, England in 1844. Lockwood Bros. still operated out of their Arundel Street Factory but created the I&H Sorby items out of their Spital Hill Works factory. The Sorby touch-mark would be found on trade knives and dag knives which were exported to the American frontiersman and traded to the Native American Indians where they would alter the pieces to their liking. For other Sorby marked blades see the Blackfoot Sorby Dag sold in 2019 by Cowan's / Hindman for $15,360 (w/ bp) and the Cree Sorby Dag Knife sold by our company in 2018 for $12,300 (w/ bp). All bone handle dag knives are scarce, especially of this size with silver and the Sorby mark. Measures overall 14.25"L by 2.75"W.*